Cure in the Cube

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Cure in the Cube

Elżbieta Komendacka


Who influences you graphically?

I have done big graphical review through architecture drawings, as there are too many to choose from I am not able name one in the sense that it wouldn’t represent my influences wholly, but what I can tell you is research taught me that simplicity works great. The idea of my proposal is really simple so I tried not to exaggerate in graphic. I tend to use only the materials that I really need and so that I don’t disturb the perception of the idea by adding unnecessary components. My project itself inspired me in the case of limited colors and impressions that I have to induce in society.

What is the role of silhouettes in the section and axonometric when compared to the real people in the perspective views?

Sections and axonometric are schematic and simplified drawings. The silhouettes are there just to get a better understanding of the function as well as the size and the scale of the rooms. Perspective views are more realistic in order to present the atmosphere I wanted to achieve in my building. They are a lot more detailed so I decided to use real people.

You talk about a generic architecture, what role does context play in relation to this? How important is it? 

Context has always been very important to me. At university where I can usually choose the site for my projects I tend to choose the most difficult one where I am limited. I like the logical problems  and I came to realize that with more boundaries to work within, it is easier for me to find the right design for my project. Every element in my project is deeply thought out and at the end it gives me a huge satisfaction from a design that works well and fits into the neighborhood.

The aim of the Cannabis Bank Competition was to design a building that fits to the chosen location but also one that can be easily adaptable to any place in the world and that is recognizable globally. The function of medical cannabis bank is quite unusual and people have no imaginations about how the building would look. I had to design something simple that can be placed anywhere, fit and do not overshadow environment. I made a basic cubic version. Then to test my idea and to prove that it can work well everywhere I chose a site with a very strong context.

The chosen site is located on The Tamka Island in one of the most populated cities of Poland which is Wroclaw. Tamka and three other islands alongside are located in the heart of the city, within the historic centre. The place of the site is one of the most popular places in the city as it is full of people which makes for a huge potential to be able to attract attention and let people know about medical marijuana.
The Tamka Island site is a significant location within the city and it has its representative character to show for its history and what it means to people of the city. Therefore, the size, shape and height of the proposed building has to follow the restrictive rules that comes with the site.

Medical cannabis dispensary is a specialized place only for targeted patients specifically in need of cannabis, so the intended number of people who will make use of dispensaries are only a few. In order to make up for this disadvantage and make use of the sites full potential I decided to add café as a commercial function to attract more people so I added a second cube and put there all the additional functions. Second cube is glazed as not to overwhelm the main idea and form of the basic building. All floors are based on the same square scheme so that it is easier to adjust and expand the basic cubical version according to the needs of specific rooms and locations within the dispensary.

What derived the form of the cube? 

My building had to comply with three conditions:  be applicable to any location, be adaptable in case of changing or extending the function of the building and have a strong visual appearance. Thus the design had to be simple and modular so my first idea was cube. Paradoxically the simplest white cube can be extraordinary and memorable so it also fits the third condition.

The building consists of three cubes. The most inner one is bank (as a place that must be protected), the structure around creates the second cube and the white corian structure is the third cube.

What is the effect and purpose of a grey background? 

I used only a few selection of materials in the building: concrete, corian and glass. The project is dominated by gray and white. My goal was to make drawings as monochromatic as I can so that I can show the green of the plants in the least pretentious way.

The white corian openwork around the building is one of the most important factors in my proposal. To make it visible I needed something darker for the background. I decided on concrete texture as a material that is used mainly in the project in order to have a background that gives you a bit of an atmosphere that you can feel inside of the building.

How does your language of representation help in conveying the atmosphere of the proposal?

In most places in the world there is still a negative stigma associated with marijuana dispensaries, even though they are to sell cannabis for medical reasons. The design should be respectful. In order to prevent people from associating dispensaries with unsavory thoughts I wanted to do subtle drawings without strong color palettes and high contrast. I chose the white color to be the most important component of representation because it is associated with cleanliness, purity, sophistication and medicine.